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supporting 12 year old with school tests

(14 Posts)
janie2 Sun 02-Feb-20 15:02:08

Hi, I am hoping I can get some perspective and some helpful hints on supporting my 12 years old with school tests. I have just read this and apologise for it's length!

School work isn't going to come easy for her, she is very average but gets really good feedback from school about her attitude in class, her effort and that she is working hard.

At home, she does homework tasks e.g. answer these questions, research x,y,z, learn french vocab. She gets on quite well with this but there is more often than not a lot of complaining, procrastinating and shouting but in the end she does it. We are careful to reward effort not grades.

This weekend she has 2 tests to revise for. She is pushing back at every opportunity, she is not focussed, she is avoiding and it feels like she is making an arguement to stop her from actaully doing the work. One of the subjects she does find hard and she did a bit of work with her dad this morning but is now completely refusing to go over it because she did an hour this morning why should she do more. Yesterday she was given plenty opportunity to go over the work but faffed about and I have to admit I had to walk away, I was about to explode. I asked her directly if she felt she had done enough to pass her test and she, if so then that is fine. She threw everything on the floor and glared at me. I took that as she probably felt she needed to do more. So gave her 5 mins to decide what she wanted to do.

What is going on? Can hormones be the actual answer? I am at a loss now. I know I will probably have to let it go and she will have to deal with the end result. Is there anything else I can do? (for the avoidance of doubt, I have no expectation that she gets A* results, as long as she has tried I don't mind what she gets).

Thanks all!

OP’s posts: |
SanjiNami Sun 02-Feb-20 15:42:01

Tbh, if she has done one hour, I think that's enough, unless she is willing to do more.

Blubell46 Sun 02-Feb-20 15:50:26

Hi Janie2, I take it she is in Year 8...I have a dd in year 8 , I have learnt this is the time to learn and make mistakes ....

Assuming she has not hit her GCSEs this is the time to learn and reflect....hard I know but try and step back.

Otherwise the whole house will get stressed and it is the beginning of a long journey.

Splendid68 Sun 02-Feb-20 17:26:20

Is she year 7 or 8 because that makes a bit of difference. Year 7 sometimes they are still yet to make the link between effort and results. Year 8 they should know this by now. Some kids need more hand holding than others. You can sit back and let her fail or you can take a more hands on approach. I have two different DCs, one just gets on with it, the other (well she is better now she is in year 10), back in year 7 needed quite a lot of sitting down with her and helping with essay structures or testing her/helping her revise. She didn’t like doing it on her own. It was a pain but it was what she needed and as time has gone on she has needed less support. Of course some kids just are not academically minded and don’t want to do it and I’m not sure if you can do very much about I’m afraid. I’m not sure hormones have that much to do with it tbh.

janie2 Sun 02-Feb-20 17:40:21

Thanks all, I am caught between leaving her be and see if she comes around and whether she does actually need the hand hold. There is definitely and element of academicness (if that's a word) involved. I think she finds it hard therefore a chore. Its hard to explain to her that unless she tries her best she isn't going to know what she can achieve.

I'm trying to work out, I think she would be Year 7, it's S1 in scotland so yes, there is also a bit of not really knowing what needs to be done to get through.

I am probably over thinking it all for her age/stage but at the same time I don't want to leave her to it and she begins to think she can't do it and that she isn't capable when she doesn't get the results. She already says things like "I'm just not very clever/no good at this".

OP’s posts: |
Blubell46 Sun 02-Feb-20 19:02:48

Hi Janie, if she is saying she is not that clever then it is definitely a confidence thing ....rather than what I initially thought which was, I know it - why do I need to do more work!

Maybe it is a particular subject she struggles with...

CGP books on amazon for KS3 are really good and easy to understand at this stage for.

I think she needs a lot patience, it has to do with secondary school, more subjects , hormones, new friends....a lot going for a child in Year 7...

janie2 Mon 03-Feb-20 07:44:55

thanks Blubell, I have an abundance of patience in my working life, I have realised I'm not so good in real life!

I know in my head what I need to do but the push back is really difficult. She digs her heals in, even with the offer of help. I sometimes think she is putting barriers up in the hope i go away and she doesn't need to think about it. it got to the point we had to say if she doesn't do school work she won't get to a gig next week. That seemed to concentrate her mind and she did some good work. There is probably both confidence and being 12 at play. Getting the balance is hard.

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lovethecrown Mon 03-Feb-20 08:09:54

I have a DS same age and although he generally gets on with it he does have a moan about some subjects. I have tried to support by finding a fun way to do it. Eg with French vocab I put the vocab into the quizlet app which has more fun ways to learning it. If she is using a book you may even find the chapter vocab lists already in quizlet and you just copy them. There are a few apps for 'fact learning' which could appeal.
It gets easier as they get a bit older and become more independent in their learning and finding what works for them.

janie2 Mon 03-Feb-20 10:20:15

Thanks, the more specific homework is generally easier for her to get on with. Its revision she finds hard. I dont think she really knows what to do. There are usually revision notes and info given but she tends not to really know what to do. I have a feeling she switches off a bit because it's hard. Teachers have commented that she needs to work on having a go before asking for help, but needs to ask for help....confusing for her!

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EduCated Mon 03-Feb-20 12:45:57

I was about to ask, does she actually know how to revise? Revising is. Skill in and of itself. Could you go through some strategies with her - mind maps, condensing notes to key points on revision cards and reducing it until you can remember etc.?

Blubell46 Mon 03-Feb-20 16:21:11

Janie2 it can be overwhelming to know how to revise..there are so many methods- weird I know but pretty stationary may help...the idea of an incentive is a good idea...she is young and needs this...each child is different and mature at different ages so do what you need to do to encourage.

Is it certain subjects or all?

janie2 Mon 03-Feb-20 18:55:42

Not sure she fully understands revision. Mostly she does get sheets which let them know what they should be revising. One class did do a mind map with them to help revision.
I thought I'd ask her if she wants me to give her ideas for revising. It's difficult when I have no idea what's being said in class. She tends to be quite vague on detail about what is said.

She is much more confident with french because its vocab tests out of 10 and she gets them regularly. I think there is confidence and understanding expectation coming into play.

She has notebooks and pens coming put of her ears that she can use. I try and get her to use colours and highlighter.

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WellTidy Mon 03-Feb-20 19:02:23

We are in a very similar position with Ds, year 7. He lacks focus and finds things difficult. Academic work doesn’t come easy to him, but he does very well when he puts the effort in. He just has to put more effort in than most, and I imagine that will probably be the case for him for quite a while.

I think it is a matter of maturity, and needing to work on resilience.

janie2 Mon 03-Feb-20 19:29:59

WellTidy, sounds very similar. I think you are right maturity plays a part too. I'm hoping not to make it worse before she matures grin

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